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Poster: Jacky Hughes Date: Oct 22, 2011 10:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Revisiting "happiness is JGB"

Like ringolevio and Arbuthnot, my personal preference is far and away for JGB over the Grateful Dead. I personally prefer the musicianship and the tighter, more business like approach.
OK, so flame away those people who disagree.

ringolevio; I am curious to know why said you didn't care for Legion Of Mary (and I guess you would feel the same way about Reconstruction):
http://www.archive.org/post/396638/happiness-is-jgb-for-althea

Is it to do with Martin Fierro's saxophone playing, which at times can sound like a demented duck on acid ?

All I would say is, maybe try listening to 1975/04/19 - I'm not sure if it is up at bt.etree, but LL have it if you have an account there.
This show is worth it just for the rip roaring Mystery Train and in my opinion, one of the best versions of Tough Mama.

If you are feeling adventurous, there is a pre Legion Of Mary show with Martin Fierro (a sort of forerunner to LOM) and with Billy K on drums - 1974/07/22 which might be worth you checking out.

I thought the LOM rhythm section of John Kahn and Ron Tutt was one of the best combinations.

Actually I find all of Jerry's side projects really interesting and a testament his open minded and dogma free approach to music.

It was a great thread that you started by the way and a total shame it was hi-jacked the way it was.

This post was modified by Jacky Hughes on 2011-10-22 17:18:51

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Poster: Pig Street ! Date: Oct 22, 2011 8:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

Love JGB and The Good Ole Grateful Dead, torn between two lovers.....

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Oct 22, 2011 10:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

AIR GARCIA! That was always one of my favorite tees.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Oct 22, 2011 9:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

Although I do like a great deal of what Garcia did outside the confines of the Grateful Dead, there is one compelling reason why I'll always prefer the Dead. That reason is Phil Lesh; he was quite simply the best bass player for Garcia. Garcia and Kahn could be very good indeed together, but Garcia and Lesh could be transcendent. The gravitational pull of Lesh's bass didn't just anchor Garcia, it could slingshot him out towards the stars.


Oh yes, and wouldn't it be grand if some people could adopt a more open-minded and dogma free approach to life?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 22, 2011 2:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

Bingo! [Although, no, I've just had another bout of dogma and narrow-mindness elsewhere on the Forum, so again, sorry, that won't happen...but, aren't you a tad happy to know somethings never change? ;)]

This is what made me become such a Bruce fan (ie, the Jer/Phil synergy); I'd never really recognized how much they (Eric/Jack) did for each other til I got into, in a "deep" way--variety of shows via Arb--live CREAM. It was thru that experience that I came to truly recognize the significance of that interplay; adding in Baker is almost important, and I why I am now always "on" about how great that trio was, but how little I care for them individually the past forty years.

Don't get me wrong, I still say "Bruce, top 5 bass players, all time", but it is exclusively through the vehicle of CREAM that I make that dogmatic, narrow minded claim.

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Poster: Pig Street ! Date: Oct 22, 2011 9:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

"The gravitational pull of Lesh's bass didn't just anchor Garcia, it could slingshot him out towards the stars."

So well put

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Poster: staggerleib Date: Oct 22, 2011 11:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

The Jerry/Phil combination was a fantastic connection of lead instrumentation. It was quite often offset by lead keyboards depending on how you felt by the various keyboardists, which is an argument I wish not to touch off, as each had their own leading styles. You are correct, though, as Phil did, and does, play the bass in a way very unlike the rhythm section instrument to which the instrument is typically confined most often. It is not, in the Dead, and doesn't need to be. This is not only due to the two drummer configuration, as it may be considered, but more likely due to Phil's jazz trumpet history prior to his introduction to the Bass.

Regardless of why, it created a dynamic unlike any I can think of in rock and roll. I may be unaware, but I would be interested in others.

Regarding the JGB dynamic: I believe that Jerry did enjoy having the change in scenario. I know that later in his career, he relished playing with Gris, as it gave him a venue completely unlike the massive pressure induced machine that the Dead merchandising juggernaut placed on his shoulders, and simply allowed him to play. Isn't that all he really wanted?

Now, my opinion... I preferred the JGB in all its iterations during my latter fandom and even still to this day. While I love it all, I find myself turning to the solo material more, it feels more joyful, more freeing, more as if Jerry was letting go of his pressure valve.

To see these friends on stage, Melvin Seals, particularly enjoying each others company doing what they loved to do, playing anything they wanted was truly uplifting.

I loved the way a show would go from gospel to reggae, to motown seemlessly. I've heard it said that the E Street Band is the best bar band anywhere, but I have always felt that the JGB was.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Oct 22, 2011 3:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

I think John Kahn is a terrible musician,in his tenure with Jerry he showed no signs of diversity or growth,he maintained that same gurgling,thumping style which only grew worse in later years when he started playing that Steinberger bass.Just listen to any 5 versions of Mission in the Rain and listen to him hack and mangle his way through it,you think just once he could get it right.I'm curious to hear what folks enjoyed about his style and input into Jerry's music.

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Poster: Jacky Hughes Date: Oct 22, 2011 4:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

I couldn't disagree with you more.

As a bass player Kahn's style was completely "in the pocket". It is a feature of JGB, LOM and Reconstruction that their rhythm sections were always tighter than a duck's arse.

He played double bass too. Which offers more diversity in itself than the majority of rock or jazz bass players can offer.

Jerry clearly appreciated what he brought to the party. He used no other bass player in his side projects (excluding the New Riders of the Purple Sage).

This is John Kahn's discography:

http://www.deaddisc.com/GDFD_John_Kahn.htm

It looks to me like a lot of diversity there.

This post was modified by Jacky Hughes on 2011-10-22 23:11:05

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Oct 22, 2011 4:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

What I meant by diversity was not playing many different styles of music,but bringing a different sound and quality to the different styles of music.I'm no expert on his catalog and he very well might have been great with Brewer and Shipley,but I saw him 100 odd times with Jerry and found him to be in way over his head.I am an avid jazz fan and have seen many great double bass players,his double bass work with Old and in the Way and the duet shows I saw with Jerry were pedestrian at best.As for his longevity with Jerry,I believe that had more to do with his friendship and other things he brought to the band,as opposed to his skill on his instrument.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Oct 22, 2011 7:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

"As for his longevity with Jerry,I believe that had more to do with his friendship and other things he brought to the band,as opposed to his skill on his instrument."

From what I've gathered from things I've read over the years, Kahn was Jerry's heroin buddy, and constantly pressured him into using with him. It always sounded like John was manipulative of Jerry, and Jerry, wanting to avoid confrontation whenever possible, would just kind of go along with John. This is why the other members of the Dead despised Kahn so much.

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Poster: Pig Street ! Date: Oct 22, 2011 7:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

Definitely not a well one with the Dead Operation, Kahn did however broaden Jerry's passion for other types of music, the Motown, jazz and progressive sounds. He had a lot to do with the Tunes that were played that were not Jer originals.

Kahn was usually the wallflower regarding the sound, he was there but not a pertinent fixture.
I can see how Heroin users would like to hang together , specifically when they are on the road together, Jerry was not into confrontation, he was into the dope and I do not believe he had ever been pressured to use.


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Poster: Jacky Hughes Date: Oct 23, 2011 1:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

"Kahn was usually the wallflower regarding the sound"

And for the type of music they were playing, that was exactly what was needed from the bass player. Though he could bust out and solo when he needed to.

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Poster: Pig Street ! Date: Oct 23, 2011 1:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

I concur

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Poster: Jacky Hughes Date: Oct 22, 2011 10:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

Yeah but, no but, yeah but, no ...

I think that's my point rhythm section wise; John Kahn plays with a drums perspective first and melody perspective second, like bass players are supposed to do. Whereas Phil primarily plays with a Jerry's guitar perspective.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of time for Phil as a bass player, but he does play the bass like a guitarist.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Oct 23, 2011 9:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

You're spot on as regards Phil's bass playing and his tendency to play low register lead lines. One of the most interesting things about the Grateful Dead was the way the three guitar players didn't always slot into traditional bass, rhythm and lead roles. Instead they could weave patterns around each other, somewhat in the way the members of a string trio would do, each contributing equally to the overall complexity of the sound.

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Poster: Jacky Hughes Date: Oct 23, 2011 1:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

And I'm not saying that he shouldn't do it. I enjoy a lot of Phil's bass lines; Cumberland Blues, Friend Of The Devil (a la 1970), I Know You Rider, amongst many others.

It's just that my preference overall is for a tight, verging on funky rhythm section. John Kahn does that better in my opinion. Phil struggles with 'funky'.

He (JK) might have actually been let out of the rehearsal room by Fagen and Becker, who knows ?

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Oct 22, 2011 10:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

"All I would say is, maybe try listening to 1975/04/19 - I'm not sure if it is up at bt.etree, but LL have it if you have an account there.
This show is worth it just for the rip roaring Mystery Train and in my opinion, one of the best versions of Tough Mama."

totally agree. here's that hot mama:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfxJHbTh-Ck

this mystery train is from the next night, 4/20:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ2uzcvWQOE

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Poster: billydlions Date: Oct 22, 2011 9:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

I'M also a big JGB fan but do not really appreciate what Martin Fierro added to the sound. I think the horns & winds were better in Reconstruction and Jerry & Merle were better in 1973 before Fierro joined them. 7-10-73 & 7-11-73 are excellent shows. 5-4-73 & 5-5-73 with someone else on guitar (apparently its not Fogerty as is widely believed) are also favorites. Of course there are some great shows with him in '74 & '75 that I like as well but my opinion is his solos meant less Jerry solos.

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Poster: Jacky Hughes Date: Oct 22, 2011 10:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Revisiting 'happiness is JGB'

Agree that the 1973/07/10 Keystone show is a classic must-have !